Fitness Experts Share 6 Tips for a Healthy Body and Mind

staying fit

Many of us likely kicked off the year with renewed fitness goals, but the odds of sticking with a new exercise regimen for the long term are, sadly, not great. You may have already joined the 80 percent of people annually who abandon their new year’s resolutions by the end of February each year.  

Make It Better’s National Digital Content Director Brooke McDonald recently spoke with three health and fitness experts from Mill Valley who shared their tips for sustaining a workout regimen and a healthy mindset long after January has come and gone. 

Warren Gendel is one of those experts. Gendel likes to say he builds gyms, builds bodies and builds good habits. He has worked in the health and fitness industry for more than 30 years and pioneered one of the fastest growing healthy lifestyle centers for kids. He is also co-founder and CEO of the new Club Evexia

warren gendel
Warren Gendel

Brothers Jake and JT Peterson are co-owners of the popular cardio strength training gym Studio 30 and mentors for anyone interested in improving their health. After eight total surgeries between the two of them from playing competitive sports, they designed a fitness program that’s not only safe and effective, but also fun and easy to stick to. 

Jake Studio Thirty
Jake Peterson

JT Studio Thirty
JT Peterson

There is no magic pill that will get you in shape, but follow these tips that Gendel, Jake and JT shared during our wellness panel on January 28, and you’ll be well on your way to reaching your fitness goals. 

1. Start Your Day on a Positive Note 

“For me, it’s really about how you start the morning every day,” Gendel says. He recommends waking up 15 minutes earlier to meditate, do yoga or just take time to relax so you don’t start your day frazzled and stressed. Gradually moving your wake up time even earlier gives you more time to incorporate a workout or a walk, creating a healthy habit that is good for your body and your mind. 

2. Try a Dopamine Detox

Jake recommends minimizing outside stimulants like caffeine, alcohol, sugar and screens. “This helps fight against fatigue and dehydration by restoring your body to its natural state of energy,” he says. Doing so can also help mitigate the energy ups and downs that happen throughout the day. 

3. Get Organized 

What does being organized have to do with being healthy? “Scheduling your workouts, and planning what you are going to do for your workout, is important because it frees up mental space, helps avoid frustration and increases your willpower,” JT says. “Once you complete a workout and you feel accomplished, you carry that energy with you throughout your entire day.”  

4. Try a Small Group Workout

As more people start to get comfortable heading back into the gym post-pandemic, working out in a group setting gives you an opportunity to reconnect with people in your community and can help motivate you to stick with a fitness regimen. Working out in a group is fun, and the support you get from others can be vital to your success. “One of our mottos is, you can’t high-five yourself,” Jake says.

5. Eat Small, Nutrient-Dense Snacks

Jake advises his clients to eat a small, nutrient-dense snack, like a handful of nuts or an apple, every two to three hours and especially before a workout.  “This helps keep your metabolism active, your insulin levels steady and ensures your body is using the food as energy,” he says, adding a reminder not to eat more calories than your body can burn off.

6. Rest Your Fork During Meals

Gendel’s great tip for portion control is to try putting your fork down 26 times during dinner. “You’ll be able to eat a lot less but feel satisfied,” he says. “Most people eat really quickly, and by the time your mind registers you’re full, you’ve eaten more calories than your body needs.”

7. Don’t be too Hard on Yourself

“Keep it simple and stay committed to who you are and to your goals,” Jake says. He advises keeping an inspirational photo on your refrigerator to inspire you when you get down or feel unmotivated. “Take care of yourself, nourish your body and know that health and wellness is a process for everyone, even health professionals.”

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Carrie Ruehlman is a former magazine editor and communications professional turned freelance writer and editor. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters and husband, Michael. She also serves on the board of The Tiny Miracles Foundation.